City of Calgary Public Art Program – Artist Residency Announcement – WATERSHED+
ARTIST RESIDENCIES: As part of the ground-breaking WATERSHED+ Pilot Project, the Public Art Program, Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) and Parks are pleased to announce its artist residency opportunities are filled, underway and gaining momentum.
Artists Rachel Duckhouse, Nick Millar & Minty Donald, Broken City Lab and Jay Mosher & Rory Middleton will, at various times, be in residence at Ralph Klein Park (RKP) between now and December 2013.
Through their art practice, the residency artists will engage the community in a dialogue, and explore issues relevant to Calgary’s watershed, water management and the Park environment.
Tristan Surtees, one of the lead artists responsible for the WATERSHED + Pilot Project and currently embedded within the City’s UEP department, says, “This unique artist residency program is an innovative, creative and collaborative inquiry of national and international significance. The degree of interdisciplinary study taking place will provoke profound thought and conversation around land, air and water, resulting in a deeper understanding of art and the environment for the artists, City staff and Calgarians.”
The objectives of the residencies are multi-fold and they are posited on the principle that the potential inherent in the artistic practice extends far beyond the creation of aesthetic objects.
As Heather Aitken, Program Coordinator for the City’s Public Art Program explains, “The resident artists were chosen, in part, due to their level of curiosity and readiness to engage with Parks staff and the larger public. This interaction is already sparking incredible things, including renewed passion within the staff as they see their work through a different lens. By having an artist be part of the family of people who work at Ralph Klein Park, we are seeing a resurgence of inspired and creative thinking on a number of levels.”
Each artist is required, as part of their residency, to engage with citizens in a way that makes sense in terms of their individual practice and approach. Artist talks, exhibitions, and smaller group interactions are just some of the ways that the public may be able to get involved in the months to come.
To learn more about these opportunities, the artists, and the pilot project itself, visit the WATERSHED+ page on www.calgary.ca/publicart.
UEP PLAN: UEP’s contribution to public art in the City of Calgary is guided by its visionary Public Art Plan. The Plan is founded on the principle that public art, in collaboration with other disciplines, can create remarkable places that encourage sustainability and stewardship of the environment. An important intention of the Plan is to integrate art into public infrastructure through inter-disciplinary collaboration. In doing this, the plan moves beyond aesthetics – encompassing a broad spectrum of activities and approaches that shape public places, advocate for change and engage the community.
WATERSHED+, brought about through the UEP Public Art Plan, represents a unique approach to public art and a distinct way of working within The City, with the public, and community stakeholders. Watershed+ creatively renews the relationship between Calgarians and the Bow River watershed and sees artists embedded within UEP core activities; participating as members of infrastructure design teams and contributing to project design, development of events, community education and communication initiatives.